GM Betting On High-End Luxury Imports To Get Its Mojo Back In China


As more Chinese automakers gain ground in their home territory, those based outside of the country are having to make adjustments. According to a new report, General Motors has decided that those adjustments need to be big. They include targeting wealthy urban dwellers with high-end luxury vehicles available through a direct sales model.

The new direct sales platform, named Durant Guild after GM’s founder, William Durant, is the main weapon in GM’s effort to stop a backsliding in sales that’s been going on for half of a decade. GM has seen a sales slump of some 33 percent during that time and sold just 1.3 million cars in China last year.

“Durant Guild is not a volume play, but if we do a good job and the products sell well, it will create a lot of buzz around Cadillac and Chevy and will help how people perceive our products and technology,” the head of GM in China, Julian Blissett, told Reuters. The game plan involves selling high-end luxury vehicles in an unconventional way for GM.

Read More: Lincoln Navigator One Is A Limited-Edition Luxury Flagship But Only For China

Just like Tesla, the Durant Guild program will sell cars direct to consumers without any middleman. In addition, it’ll open “experience centers” in urban centers and might even create pop-up showcases in other selected cities. On offer will be models that aren’t currently available in China like the new Hummer EV, the Chevrolet Corvette, and the Chevrolet Tahoe.

Durant Guild’s head Felix Weller says that it’s identified three specific customer types that it’s targeting. One group is comprised of younger buyers who want a performance vehicle to take to the race track, another loves nature, glamping, cycling, and other outdoor activities, while the other group is full of executive VIPs and those who are secularly very successful.

GM isn’t the only legacy automaker struggling to gain ground in China. Not long ago, Stellantis decided to shut down its Jeep manufacturing plant there and move to an import-only model with that brand. Removing dealers from the equation might improve the consumer experience and pad GMs bottom line at the same time.


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